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Removing & Rebuilding 51 Chevy Steering Box

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by blown240, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. blown240
    Joined: Aug 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,656

    blown240
    Member
    from So-cal

    My steering box is totally jacked. The output shaft has play in it like a bushing is gone. I was told that you have to either drop the front cross member or cut the shaft to the steering wheel to get the box out.

    Is that true? It seems like there would be an easier way. How do you get the steering box out of these cars?
     
  2. cavistyle
    Joined: Aug 20, 2008
    Posts: 530

    cavistyle
    Member
    from baltimore

    i had to cut mine...
     
  3. blown240
    Joined: Aug 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,656

    blown240
    Member
    from So-cal

    where did you cut it? and what did you use to put it back together.
     
  4. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,120

    Lobucrod
    Alliance Vendor
    from Texas

    '54 is supposed to be a much better gear box with bearings instead of bushings and its a bolt in.
     

  5. Lucky444
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,151

    Lucky444
    Member

    I just removed and replaced mine. It was toast! The steering box and column are one complete unit. Just drop the collar that holds the column to the dash, undo idler arm, remove bolts that hold the box to the frame rail and pull the entire unit out from the engine compartment. It takes some finagling, but comes right out. Of course if you've got your shifter attached to the steering column (automatic or 3 speed), you'll have to undo all of that as well. I didn't cut a thing.
     
    ClassyCarMe likes this.
  6. blown240
    Joined: Aug 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,656

    blown240
    Member
    from So-cal

    cool, thats what I needed to know. It looks like it may just be the sector shaft bushing that is blown out. Can that be changed in the car?
     
  7. cavistyle
    Joined: Aug 20, 2008
    Posts: 530

    cavistyle
    Member
    from baltimore

    yeah i cut mine to use the stock steering shaft.. i installed a MII kit so i wasnt concerned
     
  8. The sector shaft bushing in my '52 box is trashed as well. I found a set of replacment sector shaft bushings on eBay and was gonna pop them in there but if I remember correctly, the shop manual says they have to be honed/fitted to the shaft.
     
  9. Lucky444
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,151

    Lucky444
    Member

    I think Chevy's of the 40's, Kanters, and maybe National Chevy Association sold rebuild kits that included all seals and bushings. I replaced my entire unit with a rebuild because the sector shaft worm gears were screwed. I'm pretty sure you have to remove box from car to do any service. Getting the steering box out of the car is the easy part. Good luck.
     
  10. blown240
    Joined: Aug 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,656

    blown240
    Member
    from So-cal

    I found a guy sort of locally that will rebuilt it for $125. Seems like a pretty good deal.
     
  11. RDR
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,352

    RDR
    Member

    I put a 54 gear in a 50 sedan...has a different ratio besides being a better built box..almost felt like power steering compared to original box.....it will come out of there if you hold your tongue just right...lots of twisting and cussing tho':eek::D
     
  12. blown240
    Joined: Aug 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,656

    blown240
    Member
    from So-cal

    I got the box out. Took a couple hours. Had to remove the steering wheel, all the shift linkage, the shift tranns, the front seat had to go back a few inches, and the oil filter housing needed to be rotated out of the way. but I got it out without cutting it.
     
  13. PRIMERDAVE
    Joined: Jun 8, 2005
    Posts: 895

    PRIMERDAVE
    Member

    do you have a name & number for this guy......Enquireing minds want to know??:D
     
  14. blown240
    Joined: Aug 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,656

    blown240
    Member
    from So-cal

    CJ Automotive 562-806-6464
    5909 Firestone Southgate Ca
     
  15. blown240
    Joined: Aug 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,656

    blown240
    Member
    from So-cal

    Well I dropped it off yesterday. They are going to replace the gear on the sector shaft and replace all the bushings with needle bearings. It will be ready tomorrow, $150 bucks!
     
  16. blown240
    Joined: Aug 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,656

    blown240
    Member
    from So-cal

    Heres the finished product. Its so clean you could eat off of it. They even replaced the cover with a '54 style so that it would have the bearing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Looks awsome. Thanks for posting, I'll have to give them a call when I finally get back to work on my '52. :D
     
  18. ClassyCarMe
    Joined: Dec 25, 2012
    Posts: 6

    ClassyCarMe
    Member

    Thanks to your post, I was able to read through all the replies and got my old box out. I just wanted to know if the stearing shaft and box were one piece or not. With that info I pulled mine out, ...my engine was a already out so I had a good time too.
    I'm get'n rid of mine ...got ifs and manual rack going in with new stearing rig.
    Ps. I have an inline 6 spare engine. 216 & tranny for parts
    Thanks for the post
     

    Attached Files:

  19. ClassyCarMe
    Joined: Dec 25, 2012
    Posts: 6

    ClassyCarMe
    Member

    Man thanks! I desperately found myself trying to pull my cabin of the ol'Chevy today and had a stear box dilema ...hit the H.AM.B. for info, saw this post and read this particular reply then got my box out thru engine compartment as you suggested. Awesome thanks again
     
  20. Combiz
    Joined: Jun 29, 2017
    Posts: 1

    Combiz

    Thanks for this post very helpful!
    Got everything loose but having trouble getting it out. Do I need to loosen or remove the inside wheel well? Also, what's the best type of removal tool to get the arm off? Rented a couple from auto parts store with no luck.
    Thanks
     
  21. ModelAPunk
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,816

    ModelAPunk
    Member
    from Buffalo NY

    Bringing this back...

    Anyone every pull the stock steering box and column out of a 53 chevy with a V8 in the car? Can you still remove it easily or will the engine be in the way? Thanks!
     
  22. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,293

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just a FYI to the guys wanting to rebuild one themselves; go over to ChevyTalk.Org, the 49-54 forum, and at the top of that forum, in the stickies column. There you'll find DZAUTO's step-by-step instructions on how to rebuild one of these steering boxes. Or, you can send yours to him, he'll do the work, and get it back to you. I don't know what he charges. There have been a couple of HAMBERS that have done this. If you send me a PM, I'll get his name/address/phone number/e-mail to you, but I won't post it here on the HAMB. I am Butch/56sedandelivery
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
    ModelAPunk likes this.
  23. StefanS
    Joined: Oct 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,022

    StefanS
    Member
    from Maryland

    Is CJs or DZauto still rebuilding these? I'm torn between a m2 or rebuilding the box. I have all new steering parts, new brakes and '54 uprights/steering arms so I'd prefer to keep the front end if I can
     
  24. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,293

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The 53-54 columns have bearings instead of bushings; the column is also 1 inch shorter for more "belly room", and you get the added benefit of built-in turn signals. Tom Parsons, AKA "DZAUTO", over on ChevyTalk.Org, does rebuild them; I have no idea what he charges. If you sent him a PM, via ChevyTalk.Org, he will respond to your questions. I believe he still has a thread in the 49-54 forum on rebuilding one of these boxes/columns, if you decide to DIY. If you do a ZabaSearch.com, you can get his address if you want to write him a letter; he lives in Mustang, Ok. He's a NO B.S. kind of guy, very smart in all things Chevrolet, and he hates transamatic automissions (automatic transmissions, if you have dyslexia). I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  25. StefanS
    Joined: Oct 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,022

    StefanS
    Member
    from Maryland

    I'll shoot him a message. I cant find a decent priced 54 setup, but I'd like to keep my stock, external turn signal switch anyway. I did find a bolt in rack and pinion setup that includes every part needed but I dont know if the driver side boot would play well with my 2nd exhaust pipe. Since I have a '51 I put the second outlet in front of the original
     

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